Music to Your Ears
Fittingly, local psychobilly-ists 12 Step Rebels will celebrate the release of their debut album, Go Go Graveyard Rockin' with 12 Step Rebels on Dead Body Wreckerds at the Launchpad on Halloween night (Sunday, Oct. 31, for those of you smoking too much chronic) with special guests Machine Gun Symphony, Feels Like Sunday and Abandon All Hope. This one's all ages. Go for the live music, stay for the costume contests. FYI: The Rebels' CD, which is sure to be on sale at the party, is pants-shittingly awesome! ... Also that night, El Rey Theater will present the “Rocky Horror Zombie Ball,” an event that includes a showing of the infamous film and performances by Darker Vision and horror rockers, Creepshow. And yes, there will also be costume contests. ... The Metal Movement Tour, featuring Kittie, Otep and Crisis, will be unleashed at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Nov. 2 (that's Voting Day, for those of you huffing too much paint). Locals KI will open, in keeping with the female-fronted theme. ... The inaugural “Frostbite Food Drive" will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Atomic Cantina (315 Gold SW). Highlights include performances by Pipe Hustlers, 20/20 Blind, EvenKeal, the Dirty Baby Dolls and Frostbite, and the opportunity to donate nonperishable (that means canned-goods for those of you sniffing too much glue) food items to Roadrunner Food Bank for New Mexico families in need. Don't worry, I'll remind you of all the particulars next week.
When the dust settles on the 21st century and people begin to sift through the past for those artists whose work will most certainly reverberate for decades to come, Geoff Muldaur will be near the top of the list when it comes to the blues and folk traditions. Of Muldaur's chameleon-like voice, folk hero and Fairport Convention founder Richard Thompson has been quoted as saying, "There are only three white blues singers—Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them." Comedian (and accomplished guitarist himself) Martin Mull once commented that Muldaur is one of few white men who should own a guitar. They're both right on target.
Don Byron Ivey-Divey Trio
Friday, Oct. 29; Outpost Performance Space (all ages, 8 p.m.): Clarinetist Don Byron got his musical start thanks to instructions from his childhood doctor, who had diagnosed the Brooklyn-born youth with asthma and recommended that he take up a wind instrument for therapy's sake. It wasn't long before a young Byron was excelling on the instrument and absorbing the sounds of his neighborhood, which boasted a large Jewish population. It's no surprise, then, that Byron first came to notoriety as a Klezmer musician. And ever since those early days of his career, Byron has taken special care to absorb, adopt and/or adapt to any number of musical styles.
with Goatwhore, Macabre and Noisear
Monday, Nov. 1; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Grindcore progenitors Napalm Death returned last month with their second scalp-tingling tribute to classic hardcore and thrash metal, and the world is a better place for it. From the brutal recasting of Cryptic Slaughter's “Lowlife” to a thoroughly crushing take on Agnostic Front's “Blind Justice,” the 22-year-old band prove themselves not only to be masters of death metal, but well-versed in all of the different sub-genres the music they pioneered eventually became during the first decade and a half of their career.
Of course, you can expect plenty of trademark Napalm Death songs on this tour, as well as a smattering of the covers represented on Leaders Not Followers: Part 2 (Century Media). Time to dig out the Die Kreuzen T-shirt, kids.
Brian Wilson Brian Wilson Presents Smile (Nonesuch)
Why not refer to Brian Wilson's latest CD as simply Smile? Because, essentially, it isn't that record. Smile, as pretty much anyone with even a passing interest in pop music is aware, was shelved by an increasingly mentally ill Brian Wilson in 1967. And, for all intents and purposes, it remains there, forever unfinished. Brian Wilson Presents Smile is a recasting of the original material, finished and finally assembled 37 years later by Wilson, original lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Wondermints' keyboardist Darian Sahanaja. Splitting hairs? Not really. This, the first officially sanctioned compilation of the tracks written for the Beach Boys' follow-up to Pet Sounds, isn't the record the Beach Boys would ultimately have made. Without Carl Wilson, without Bruce Johnston, without Al Jardine, without Mike Love (whether you happen to love him or hate him) and, to a lesser degree, no Dennis Wilson, there's no Beach Boys. And with no Beach Boys, there's no infamous Beach Boys Smile album. All that aside, however, Wilson's presentation of his self-proclaimed "teenage symphony to God" is not without merit by a longshot.
Ticklefish Icky Sticky (self-released)
Like Jim Cosgrove, local recording artist John Grant makes children's music that's designed to keep the adults engaged, too. But where Cosgrove's recordings sometimes veer into the land of children's television homogenization, Grant (a.k.a. Ticklefish) writes semi-acoustic upbeat rock songs with lyrics geared toward the kids. But his melodies and arrangements are clearly inspired by the modern “adult” world of the singer-songwriter. Icky Sticky is truly an “everyone's” record—with plenty of appeal for mom and dad, and enough camp, silliness and general oddness for the little ones. It's the perfect rock 'n' roll introduction for Junior. Available at www.ticklefish.net.